What we can learn from the media’s dismissal of the Wuhan lab theory
For more than a year, the theory that the COVID-19 pandemic began with the leak of a previously unknown coronavirus from a laboratory at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology in late 2019 was roundly, even vociferously, dismissed by many scientists and most in the news media.
A New York Times report called it a conspiracy theory. Facebook deemed it false and took down posts making that claim. The (Poynter-owned) fact-checking site PolitiFact dismissed it as “inaccurate and ridiculous. We rate it Pants on Fire!” (a term reserved for its most discredited assertions).
These conclusions were published...